Did you know that Japan has the lowest obesity rate in the world? There are many factors that contribute to this fact. However, here’s an easy, simple secret that the Japanese use to stay thin.
As you may know, carbohydrate intake creates an insulin spike, storing fat. Many people are already on low-carb diets, but there is something else you should consider: eat your veggies first. The order in which you eat your food matters.
Ideally, consume the food on your plate in the following order:
First, eat vegetables. If your stomach is busy digesting that first course of fiber-rich vegetables, any carbs you eat later will literally be covered with fiber as it travels down your throat, inhibiting the fat storing insulin spike.
Eat protein second. The more food you eat before you eat carbohydrates, the fewer carbohydrates you end up eating. Protein is the fundamental source of fat burning muscles and beautiful skin, so you need a lot of it. However, if you eat protein after carbohydrates, your stomach cannot absorb as much of the nutrients in protein as it should.
Finally, eat carbohydrates last. Since you already ate vegetables and protein, you naturally reduce the amount of carbohydrates you eat. More importantly, the carbs in your stomach are now covered with fiber from the vegetables, which slows down the absorption of the carbohydrates.
Now you may be wondering, “Do I need to eat all of my vegetables first, all of my protein second, and all of my carbohydrates third?” This is not the case. You can eat some of your vegetables first, then some of your protein, and finally some of your carbohydrates. Then you repeat this process, which we call the triangle cycle.
If the triangle cycle is too complicated, just eat vegetables first and then eat whatever you want to. The most important thing is not to put carbohydrates in an empty stomach. An empty stomach absorbs carbs quickly, which you don’t want.
If you have soup or fruits, they should come before vegetables. A favorite Japanese breakfast is 1) miso soup, 2) vegetables, 3) fish or beans, and 4) rice as the first cycle. After the first cycle, the order varies depending on my mood.
It’s common to be served bread at Italian restaurants as soon as you sit down, but for weight control don’t touch it until after you eat your vegetables or soup.
“Itadakemasu!” Japanese for Bon Appetit!